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Fischerspooner turns in disappointing results
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Fischerspooner turns in disappointing results
by Jessica Price - SGN A&E Writer

Fischerspooner
May 26
The Showbox Market


All I can think of to describe Fischerspooner's "performance" at The Showbox is a Smiths song title - "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore." The one-time darlings of electro-clash are touring for the release of their third full-length album, Entertainment. Entertained was about the last thing I felt; bemused and scornful come closer to mind. If it's boys in makeup lip-synching that you want to see, Seattle has dozens of truly amazing performers any night of the week, and they actually get up and move. Fischerspooner's return to The Showbox was an absolute sham.

By the time Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner appeared onstage a good 45 minutes late (Fischer in an atrocious Emo Philips-style yellow wig and Spooner looking like an overstuffed kabuki character), those in attendance seemed weary of trying to hype up for a good time. Four flimsy panels onstage, suspiciously covered in what appeared to be tinfoil, weren't exactly encouraging. (After doing the festival circuit for so long, couldn't the duo come up with something more impressive than tinfoil?) If your reputation is based on equal parts music and mind-blowing performance, the first thing to do is make sure the "mind-blowing" part is leaning toward the positive end of the spectrum.

Song-wise, lifeless versions of "Amuse Bouche" and "Happy" barely upped the energy. When you have no instrumentation onstage and all eyes are on you, a certain degree of effort would be commendable. Even if the new material is less than stellar, I thought for sure the stage show would be worthwhile - but no. Spooner seemed smug, uninspired, and undeserving of any credibility at all - he barely could be bothered to throw himself wholeheartedly into a hip thrust. Luckily, the tinfoil panels shifted to reveal four 10-foot mirrors, adding a little more depth to the stage. Four ballerina-esque dancers leapt around in exaggerated high-school theater sequences, while Spooner mostly stood still and twitched occasionally.

Preening and posing is okay for a MAC ad, but come on! "Get Confused" and "Supply and Demand" only made me wonder if there will ever be a ban on futuristic silver jumpsuits and jerky movements as art.

A few low-budget costume changes and twirling umbrellas switched things up a bit - more silver, more kneepads, a bit of neon and more nude wig caps. Spooner's ridiculous, lifeless facial expressions continued while the dancers leapt as if they could save the show, which of course, they couldn't. "Emerge" and "Sweetness" were a momentary relief. I kept praying that Dina Martina would magically appear for a cameo - only Dina could somehow turn a catastrophe of this size into something beautiful.

Circa 2001, riding on the strength of their debut album, #1, Fischerspooner's live shows were legendary, highly charged performances. Or maybe it's just that the material was better, which is definitely true ("Emerge," "Sweetness" and a brilliant cover of Wire's "The 15th" were all on that release). But the 2009 live edition of Fischerspooner is dismal and tired, and no amount of silver suiting or tinfoil can shine up a disappointment such as this.
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